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SAHMs, how much does your DH do at home?

(93 Posts)
FlapsTie Thu 20-Oct-16 08:04:14

Specifically SAHMs of school children.

Both SIL and I are in this position, I have three dc and she has one. Our DHs (brothers) do the same job at the same company so no difference in work load etc.

DH does quite a lot around the house. He probably does almost as much washing as I do, he cooks a couple of times a week, cleans the kitchen, hoovers, tidies, as well as things like the bins and mowing the lawn. He also does all bath and bedtimes.

BIL does literally nothing housework wise, except the occasional heavy job (gutters, cutting down trees etc). He does put his dc to bed. SIL tells me he wouldn't know how to use the washing machine and has never cooked for the family.

She also does all the birthday cards, appointments, shopping, banking etc, whereas we split this stuff.

I've been having a wobble lately that I'm taking the piss out of DH. Should I be doing it all? I think it's relevant that up until a couple of years ago I worked full time, and SIL has always been a SAHM so our roles evolved differently. But should I take over the stuff that DH does now because he is the sole earner?

What's fair and AIBU?

DH has never complained by the way, but then I don't think he would, but I'm worried he's going to end up resentful, especially because he sees his brother every day and they obviously talk about their home lives. Is he getting a raw deal?

RubyRoseViolet Thu 20-Oct-16 08:15:05

It sounds like he's perfectly happy with the situation so I wouldn't worry too much. It depends on the age of your children I think. If they're all at school then I'd definitely expect a SAHM orSAHD to do that bulk of the house stuff plus cooking mostly. The bath time and bedtime things maybe to be shared. If the children are at home all day it's very different, that's a hard days work in itself and I'd expect a partner to help out more at home in those circumstances. It's entirely up to you both though. Each family is different.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 20-Oct-16 08:20:37

I think it's what works for you. Being a SAHM I would be doing all chores and then when dh gets home he would be doing bed and stories with weekend chores split.

If your sil only has one child and doesn't mind doing the bulk then I guess it's what works for them. If they had 3 DC she might demand more help!

NapQueen Thu 20-Oct-16 08:20:58

Well at least your way won't create a shock to dh if you return to work or go away for a weekend. It's beneficial to him to do a good portion of the home stuff.

I'm not a SAHM but my shifts mean there are often blocks of five days off in a row for me and on those days I make sure I leave no dirty dishes, do a load of laundry, keep the house vaguely tidy, and make sure there is food in for dinner. I think that's an appropriate amount of stuff to do (I've a 2yo at home with me and a 5yo at school).

Tissunnyupnorth Thu 20-Oct-16 08:21:25

Agree with Rubyrose.

If children are school age, it's a fairer split for SAHP to do bulk of household admin/organisation. Isn't that the SAHP's job? If children are young and at home, could see how a split would be more fair.

FlapsTie Thu 20-Oct-16 08:21:30

All our children are at school, although my dc3 has only just started so I suppose we're still finding a balance. I've also been ill for the last couple of years (hence giving up work) although I've been much better for the past couple of months.

I just don't want to be a pisstaker.

PinkiePiesCupcakes Thu 20-Oct-16 08:22:52

Its different for all families isn't it?
In our house I do everything, OH goes to work and that's all.
I'm happy with it though, I have far more off time than they do.

DD goes to school, I tidy and clean up for an hour a day, shopping takes an hour a fortnight. Washing takes about 5 minutes to sort, 10 minutes to put away once its been washed and dried. The rest of my time is my own.

All told, I probably "work" for about 10-15 hours a week. I don't count sitting watching Kerwhizz and playing with DD as work though.

NapQueen Thu 20-Oct-16 08:24:19

If you have all the kids at school full time then I'd like to think there'd be minimal chores evenings and weekends. All laundry, bed changes, food shopping, admin and cleaning can be easily done in the week and still allow for a fair bit of downtime too.

Weekends then really is just a case of dishes after meals, bins if they fill that quickly.

NavyandWhite Thu 20-Oct-16 08:29:27

TBH I do pretty much everything. Cleaning, cooking, pets, ironing, sorting birthday presents, admin ( most of it is done via bank so not that much ) everything to do with school, food shopping.

But DH runs his own company and is away quite a lot. He leaves early and back for 6.30 ish, he oftens has work to do when he gets home too.

He does clean the kitchen every night, puts rubbish out ( sorts recycling ) and would do anything I asked him to do.

I have a lot of spare time in the day to visit friends, go shopping, walk the dogs, have hair,nails done. Whereas he hardly has any free time.

I don't feel hard done by at all. We are a team and support each other.

Tumtitum Thu 20-Oct-16 08:34:22

I would say like PPs it's what you're both happy with and as long as you both have free time. Eg if you have free time during the day then as long asDH has free time after work and weekends as well! I am on mat leave at the moment with DD1 and to be honest I do most of the house stuff apart from heavy jobs and DH does the bins (we do have a fortnightly cleaner) and it will be very interesting how we work things out when I go back to work part time! confused

FlapsTie Thu 20-Oct-16 08:34:46

I think DH has an ok balance, he starts and finishes early so he's home at the same time as the kids get home (a hangover from when I worked ft but he hasn't wanted to change it). He has hobbies out of the house two or three evenings a week and gets plenty of time for his other hobbies in the afternoons and evenings as well as weekends.

There is always washing to do so he does it at the weekends as I do it all week (at least a load a day).

I sometimes don't eat dinner so on those days he'll cook for himself and the kids.

Perhaps I should up my game though.

crayfish Thu 20-Oct-16 08:35:40

If you're at home with the kids at school I personally think you should be doing the bulk of the cooking, cleaning and washing. What are you doing all day that there is laundry for your DH to do? Even on maternity leave with the baby obviously at home I managed most of it (quite an easy baby though). Bedtime/bath time and weekends should be shared obviously.

That said if you have health problems and are unable to manage then of course DH should do his bit.

FuckThatToOneSide Thu 20-Oct-16 08:37:15

I'm a sahm and always have been (since having DC obviously).

My DH does his own washing (by choice - he likes to do it confused) and sometimes some of DC's washing. Sometimes I'll iron a few shirts for him, but generally I leave it to him. I wash most of DC's clothes and all towels, bedding etc as well as my own stuff.

I cook on most weekdays, though occasionally, if we've had a shit day here, I will suggest takeaway or eat with DC and just leave something out for DH to cook himself. He cooks Sunday roast (again he likes to) and we split doing the tea on a Saturday.

We both happen to enjoy cooking, so that's no skin off our noses. Cleaning up is another matter. DH will load the dishwasher, maybe every other evening, or we might do it together. He'll throw the hoover round occasionally at the weekends, but things like mopping the floor and cleaning bathrooms, I think he has maybe done a handful of times since we had DC or ever really. I end up doing most cleaning, which isn't great, but the alternative is sitting around with DC in a messy house, which I wouldn't like.

DH does bedtime (tooth brushing, cup of milk, stories etc) most nights. I do bathtime.

I should also say that my DC is under two, so is at home with me except one day per week which is spent at nursery (a luxury which we only spend the money on, as we have absolutely no help with childcare, due to family living far away).

I don't think your DH is getting a raw deal. I think as long as you're both happy with your share of the work then that's what works for you.

In our house we each tend to do what we want to / can manage. As I'm at home more, I think I end up doing more here. I wanted to be a sahm, so being at home with DC is sort of what I signed up for - I think the housework is just an unwelcome byproduct of that, but it's a fair trade off afaic.

Reading that last sentence back I wonder if I sound a bit 50s housewife... I am definitely not (I hope)! I guess the thing is, if I spent the evenings scrubbing floors while DH sat on his arse I'd be furious. In fact it just wouldn't happen. The truth is that, by the time DH gets home from work to put DC to bed, I feel the working day is done for both of us. My feet go up before he's finished bedtime. I'd rather catch up with him in the evenings than send him off to clean a bathroom or something.

Oysterbabe Thu 20-Oct-16 08:39:36

Doesn't matter as long as everyone is happy with the situation does it?
I do all cooking and cleaning the kitchen. He tends to clean the bathrooms and change bedding. We both do things like hoovering, taking out bins and sorting recycling. He often does bath time while I cook.
I am returning to work soon and I imagine the duties will stay much the same.

myownprivateidaho Thu 20-Oct-16 08:39:59

I think equal free time is the way to go. With the caveat that if chores take either party longer than they should, then that's a problem that needs to be addressed. I'm monumentally shit at housework, and I know that if I was a SAHP I wouldn't get anything done. That's why it wouldn't work for me to be one -- wouldn't be fair on my DH!

TippiNoodlegruder Thu 20-Oct-16 08:46:36

Quite a bit. We have three children but two are at school so only one at home all day. DH does all the cooking when he's here, sometimes prep work for it when he's going to be working so I have less to do. Does the dishwasher and washing up probably an equal amount to me. He's not as hot on general tidying as I am, he prefers to leave it until it's a big mess that needs immediate action, whereas I do little bits and bobs here and there to prevent it getting to that stage. Neither of us are "right" on this one. He'll do washing if required but I'm normally pretty on top of that. Childcare when he's here is pretty equal as well.

For us it's not a case of anything being a specific person's job. And it's not as simple as saying things should be shared on weekends and evenings because sometimes he's at work at those times and sometimes he isn't.

SpotTheDuck Thu 20-Oct-16 08:48:01

It's interesting that you mention you've been ill - it sounds like when you were ill DH has done a lot at home (as he should!) but maybe now you're feeling better and all DCs are in school it would be time to reevaluate?

The fairest approach, which I got from mumsnet, so it's obviously true smile, is usually to think about making sure each partner has equal "downtime" to relax, recharge, see friends and NB chatting to the other mum on a play date doesn't count, pursue hobbies. Do you think that's the case? You've mentioned he goes out for his hobbies, and maybe you get some downtime when the Dcs are at school, so doe it balance or are you getting more time to relax than he does?

HarleyQuinzel Thu 20-Oct-16 08:54:39

If you're at home without the kids then yes I would generally expect you to do most of it, unless there's something else you do that takes up your time.

Work out how much time to relax you both get and go from there.

swimmerforlife Thu 20-Oct-16 08:59:01

OP, if it is a fairly good system atm, then there's no need to change it so long as your DH is happy.

I'm full time, whilst DH is self employed so often has quiet periods, if he is having a quiet period and is just sitting at home with DS2 (baby but a fairly easy baby) watching the telly then I really don't want to come home at 6pm to dirty dishes, toys on the floor, bins overflowing etc and no dinner prepared. Obviously we both pitch in with the day to day stuff if DH is extremely busy.

I tend to do clean bathroom, bedding and hoover on a Friday night yes I am that sad I clean on a Friday night everything else we split other than the cooking which DH does most days.

BastardBernie Thu 20-Oct-16 09:03:12

I am on maternity leave with 3rd and do all housework and cooking. It bugs me when I'm still running around tidying at 9pm from the evenings mess and he's sat on his arse but he brings home the bacon and he does work a hard manual job for it.
When I go back to work (imminently sad ), I don't invisage he will do any tasks as such, but I'm sure he will help tidy up a bit more and possibly a weekend hoover now and again!

GertrudeBelle Thu 20-Oct-16 09:03:58

The key question is whether you both have an equal amount of downtime.

While he is at work, do you put your feet up or do "you" things? If so, then it would be fair for him to have the same amount of time to relax after work.

But if you're fully engaged throughout the day, in the same way that he is, then it's fair.

FlapsTie Thu 20-Oct-16 09:04:14

Since dc3 started school the house has been tidy and clean to a decent standard every day, I even got to the bottom of the washing basket the other week. I'm also managing to et the big jobs done now, like sorting paperwork, properly sorting the kids' rooms etc. I also do both school runs and walk the dog.

So I do think I'm pulling my weight. DH does what needs doing at the weekends with me and takes the kids to their activities.

I do manage to fit in a LOT of tv during the day.

teacher54321 Thu 20-Oct-16 09:04:17

I work full time but as a teacher in an independent school so I get long holidays and we only have one ds. DH works full time but on shift work so compressed hours and often gets weeks at a time off when he's at that point on his rota. In the school holidays I do pretty much everything. When I'm at work and he's got one of his random weeks off, he does pretty much everything. We both hate cleaning and are rubbish at it so have a cleaner once a fortnight, and we get a Tesco delivery weekly. Works for us as we both have jobs which are intensely busy for a period of time and then periods of time off.

GertrudeBelle Thu 20-Oct-16 09:07:58

I do manage to fit in a LOT of tv during the day.

This doesn't sound fair and if it had been written by a man I strongly think he would be described as a pisstaker.

FlapsTie Thu 20-Oct-16 09:10:30

To be fair, DH gets up early at weekends and gets a good three hours of watching football/American football/hideous Kung fu films both mornings before anyone else is up.

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